L.A. choreographer perfects Palisade color guard
It has to be perfect.
Every footstep, every plie’, every chasse’, every twirl of a flag or a rifle, must be precisely in sync with the brass, the woodwinds, and percussion.
Judges are looking for perfect. Anything less will result in point reduction in a battle where one hundredth of a point could make a difference between winning or losing a state championship.
“There are three bands right now all within a hundredth of a point of each other,” said Peter Gomez, a professional color guard choreographer hired to perfect the color guard team that accompanies the Palisade Marching Band.
Gomez lives in Los Angeles where he owns his own independent business, ColorGuardUSA.com, where teams can buy specially weighted flagpoles, choreographed shows and sign-up for intensive workshops.
He travels once a month to Palisade to see how the team’s performance is coming.
“It’s really an incredible job,” Gomez said last weekend as he put the finishing touches on the team, “I show people pictures at home of this amazing scenery that we practice in and they’re amazed. All these kids just take it for granted.”
Gomez has 30 years of experience in the marching arts. As part of his unique job, he coaches 15 color guard teams across the nation.
“I always hope all of them win but this one is kind of special to me,” Gomez said of the Palisade team.
They practiced long hours Friday and Saturday in preparation for Monday’s state marching championships at Colorado State University — Pueblo.
Gomez will travel with the team and expects them to do very well in Monday’s competition.
More importantly though, Gomez said that he admires the Palisade Marching Band not for their competitive spirit but for their outstanding personal standards.
Band is teaching these kids an important set of values and not every organization has that, he said. He credits a great team of leaders including the color guard coaches and band director, Jeff Mason, for creating an award-winning program.